Hino Motors, Ree Automotive Partner To Bring New Technologies To Commercial Vehicles

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This is the FlatFormer platform that Hino Motors unveiled at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show. This was jointly developed with REE Automotive. Hino and REE are forming an alliance to advance electrified and autonomous technology in commercial vehicles.  REE AUTOMOTIVE IMAGE

Hino Motors, the Toyota subsidiary that makes commercial vehicles and diesel engines, is forming a strategic alliance with Israeli-based REE Automotive, a manufacturer of modular platforms to support autonomous vehicles.

The goal is to combine Hino's expertise in commercial vehicles with REE's electric vehicle technologies.

More specifically, the partners envision developing a version of the REEBoard, a mobility service module, that will carry passengers, goods and services to the customers who currently buy Hino's vehicles.

They intend to develop hardware prototypes by 2022, according to a release announcing the collaboration.

REE's modules can be detached from the electric vehicle and then serve as an independent vehicle that can carry out its own deliveries.

A version of this flat module, called the FlatFormer, was displayed at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show.

"The starting point of this collaboration is the FlatFormer concept we showcased at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show," said Hino CEO Yoshio Shimo, in a statement. "It received an excellent response, and I am delighted to see this FlatFormer concept come closer to reality."

In February REE agreed to go public through a merger with a blank check company, or special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).

The transaction, which valued REE at $3.6 billion, is with 10X Capital Venture Acquisition Corp. and is expected to provide $500 million in capital to REE, including $300 million from Mahindra and Mahindra, Koch Strategic Platforms and Magna International, a major auto supplier.

REE is led by co-founder and CEO Daniel Barel.

The firm signed an agreement with Indian carmaker Mahindra and Mahindra last year to explore joint development of electric commercial vehicles.

Last month, Hino, Toyota and Isuzu formed a commercial vehicle partnership to combine Toyota's connected, autonomous and electric technologies with Isuzu and Hino's commercial vehicle expertise.

The new venture is led by Hiroki Nakajima, president of Toyota's in-house commercial vehicle group.

The three companies plan to develop battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs), autonomous driving technologies, and electronic platforms for commercial vehicles.

Source: Forbes

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